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The top picture above was taken in early autumn from our front law. The
mountains in the far background are part of the White Mountain ranges..
The second picture shows some other White Mountains.
What's an intrusion?
According to experts, the White mountains of New Hampshire
were formed by magna intrusions a mere 124 to 100 million years before now.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story,
The Great Carbuncle, (horrible title) is set in the White Mountains..
White Mountains, a band of eight adventurers gathers
together. They are each on a personal quest for the Great
Carbuncle, a brilliant gem legendary in its elusiveness. The
adventurers are as follows:
The Seeker: a man sixty years of age who has
sought the Great Carbuncle nearly his entire life. He
says when he finds the Carbuncle he will die alongside
Doctor Cacophodel: a chemist. He hopes to perform
many tests on the Carbuncle and make many copies of it.
Master Ichabod Pigsnort: a merchant, who wishes
to sell the Carbuncle to the highest bidder.
The Cynic: a bespectacled man with a constant
sneer. He considers the hopes of the other adventurers
futile. He seeks the Carbuncle to prove to everyone that
it doesn't exist.
The Poet: He hopes the Carbuncle will bring him
Lord de Vere: a wealthy prince, who would use the
Carbuncle's brilliance as a symbol of his family's
greatness for posterity.
Matthew and Hannah: newlyweds, who wish to use
the gem as a light in their household and as a
next morning, Matthew and Hannah, wake up realizing that the
others have left before them. Even though they fear they
have lost the Carbuncle, they take their time in preparing
for their morning's adventure.
They begin to climb a great mountain. They soon fear they
will be lost, until they spy a great red brilliance. They
realize it is the Carbuncle. Beneath the Carbuncle, they see
the figure of the Seeker, who has died trying to reach the
gem. The Cynic approaches them and claims that he cannot see
the Carbuncle. He removes his glasses and is immediately
blinded by the gem's brilliance. Matthew and Hannah decide
the gem is too brilliant for their household, and they leave
it where it lies.
These bright leaves which I have mentioned are not the
exception, but the rule; for I believe that all leaves, even grasses and mosses,
acquire brighter colors just before their fall. When you come to observe
faithfully the changes of each humblest plant, you find that each has, sooner or
later, its peculiar autumnal tint; and if you undertake to make a complete list
of the bright tints, it will be nearly as long as a catalogue of the plants in
Henry David Thoreau, "Autumnal
Tints", The Atlantic Monthly (October 1862) ---
Tidbits on October 1, 2007
Videos From Bob Jensen's Personal
Camera (the pictures are clear but some of them lost a bit in the video) ---
The Tidbits.wmv video is narrated.
For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
other universities is at
Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures
Bob Jensen's Threads ---
Bob Jensen's Home Page is at
Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
(Also scroll down to the table at
Set up free conference calls at
World Clock ---
If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops ---
Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available
free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
John Stossel's great ABC Television's "Goes to Washington"
Bouncing Balls and Geometric Series ---
The Silent Picture Era ---
A whistleblower should really wear a mask, ride a white horse, and have a native
American partner to help track hidden piles of Kemosabi ---
Rossini - William Tell overture (Part 1) ---
Rossini - William Tell overture (Part 2) ---
Jack Benny Part 1 (the answer to high fuel prices) ---
Jack Benny Part 2 ---
Jack Benny Part 3 ---
Jack Benny vs. Groucho (1955) ---
Jack Benny and Marilyn Monroe ---
Jack Gives Johnny Carson Advice (1955) ---
Free music downloads ---
Many MySpace modules have great music (probably
(What is now becoming popular is that advertising is being used on these MySpace
Soprano Dawn Upshaw can now call herself a
"genius" if she wants. The 47-year-old opera singer and recitalist was named one
of the 2007 MacArthur Fellows, an award commonly referred to as the "genius
Other 2007 "geniuses" ---
Not an accountant in the bunch --- Sigh!
Dave Brubeck: A Monterey Pioneer in Concert (full
Tom Lehrer (satire from the past) ---
Tutorials (Mathematics, Sociology, Politics, and History)
Tom Lehrer was a clever, perhaps the most clever, satirist, in our time if
we assume Mark Twain came before our time.. His writings seem to have
benefited from hopping from job to job to job.
In his last lecture, Randy Pausch said "experience is what
you get when you don't get what you want." ---
Tom Lehrer bounced from job to job to job in
a varied career with lots of twists and
Lehrer earned his BA in mathematics (Magna Cum Laude) from Harvard
University in 1947, when he was 18. He received his MA the next year,
and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He taught classes at MIT, Harvard
and Wellesley. He remained in Harvard's doctoral program for several
years, taking time out for his musical career and to work as a
researcher at Los Alamos, New Mexico. He joined the Army from 1955 to
1957, working at the National Security Agency. All of these experiences
eventually became fodder for songs: "Fight Fiercely, Harvard", "The Wild
West Is Where I Want To Be" and "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a
Soldier", respectively. There was perhaps some truth to his comment in
the intro to the latter song, in which he said he had left the Army and
was now in the "Radioactive Reserve".
In 1960, Lehrer returned to full-time studies at
Harvard. However, he never completed his doctoral studies, and never
received a PhD in mathematics. In 1972, he joined the faculty of the
University of California, Santa Cruz, teaching an introductory course
entitled "The Nature of Mathematics" to liberal-arts majors — "Math for
Tenors", according to Lehrer. He also taught a class in musical theater.
He still occasionally performs songs in his lectures, primarily those
relating to the topic
Lehrer's musical career was notably brief (he grew weary of singing the
same songs over and over again on the road), stating in an interview in
the late 90s that he had performed a mere 109 shows, and written 37
songs across his 20-year career. Nevertheless, the cult following that
had grown around his music significantly bolstered the effect that he
had on a global scale.
In the 1970s he concentrated on teaching mathematics
and musical theater, although he also wrote 10 songs for the children's
television show The Electric Company. (Harvard schoolmate Joe Raposo was
the show's musical director for its first three seasons.) In the early
1980s, Tom Foolery, a revival of his songs on the London stage, was a
surprise hit. Although not its instigator, Lehrer eventually gave it his
full support and updated several of his lyrics for the production.
Amazon.com begins selling digital music downloads without
copy-protection technology ---
Photographs and Art
Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various
types electronic literature available free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
Quote Garden ---
The Thomas Carlyle Letters Online ---
Fleursdumal.org is dedicated to the French poet Charles
Baudelaire (1821 - 1867), and in particular to Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of
Carl Sandburg (Chicago Poems) ---
Hear Carl Sandburg
Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe ---
Mellonta Tauta by Edgar Allan Poe
Children's Storybooks Online ---
Ted Hughes Poems (includes poems for children)
Sample Pages from Dick and Jane Readers ---
Campaign 2008: Issue Coverage Tracker ---
Employers in many parts of the West are facing
record low unemployment levels. They are having to raise wages and become more
creative in how they attract new employees. In states like Montana, Idaho and
Wyoming, unemployment is hovering around 2 and 3 percent.
Hope Stockwell, NPR, September 24, 2007 ---
Go west young man/woman, Go West! ---
Broken Promises and Pork Binges
The Democratic majority came to power in January promising to do a better job on
earmarks. They appeared to preserve our reforms and even take them a bit
further. I commended Democrats publicly for this action. Unfortunately, the
leadership reversed course. Desperate to advance their agenda, they began
trading earmarks for votes, dangling taxpayer-funded goodies in front of
wavering members to win their support for leadership priorities.
John Boehner, "Pork Barrel
Stonewall," The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2007 ---
They're the strong and the proud, but the Marines
aren't free to stand on the streets of San Francisco. The Silent Drill Platoon
of the U.S. Marine Corps wasn't allowed to be filmed Sept. 11 on California
Street in San Francisco for a segment of its new advertising campaign, a Marine
spokesman told FOXNews.com.
"Marines Barred From Filming Commercial on Streets of San
Francisco," Fox News, September 25, 2007 ---
San Francisco is no longer a military-friendly city and military personnel are
advised not to even be seen in uniform while touring the city or arriving at the
San Francisco Airport.
Here's something that's not recommended in the San Francisco Airport.---
The ad for the Folsom Street Fair - to be held in
Pelosi's district on Sunday and which is partly funded by San Francisco's Grants
for the Arts program, which is funded by the city's hotel tax - sparked outrage
from Christian groups because it mirrors Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting of
"The Last Supper" but replaces Jesus and his apostles with scantily leather-clad
men and women sitting at a table adorned with sex toys . . . Pelosi: "Well
that's not really a local question. That's a constitutional question. That's a
religious question. That's as big a global question as you can ask. I'm a big
believer in First Amendment and therefore, as I said in my statement, I do not
believe that Christianity has been harmed by the Folsom Street Fair
Nathan Burchfiel, "Pelosi:
Sadomasochistic Last Supper Ad Doesn't 'Harm' Christianity," CNSNews, September 28, 2007 ---
Link to the picture of San Francisco's
version of The Last
Supper with dildos and other sex toys ---
Church groups are pressing Miller Brewing Company to remove its logos from its
sponsorship posters ---
A Catholic Group is calling for a boycott of Miller beer ---
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. is calling for a boycott of
Events of the Fair (billed as a leather event that must not please animal rights
Audio of Nancy Pelosi's statement ---
Windows Media Audio
Video of Nancy Pelosi's statement ---
I'm truly a supporter of the rights of consulting adults to freely choose sexual
orientation and transgendering. I also support full acceptance of gays (who are
genuinely devoted to Christianity) into our churches. But I do not think sexual orientation should be the basis for
insults, slander, and dysfunctional political correctness defended by our
Speaker of the House of Representatives. I say "dysfunctional" because such
gay sexual defamations of
Christianity and degenerate public indulgences do more harm that good for
gays seeking acceptance into the Episcopal and other Christian churches. Just when you thought San Francisco could not sink any lower in terms of
offensive street indulgences, the city government and large corporations
sponsor this kind of blasphemy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is safe since
her support for government funding of this is a sex sadomasochistic parody of Christianity's
Last Supper. She would be in deep kishie if she defended government funding
of a sex
sadomasochistic phallic parody of the
Pillars of Islam. Do you think she and her district supporters have double
standards for the First Amendment? Christianity, but only Christianity, seems to
be fair game blasphemy these days. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed there were
no homosexuals in the entire nation of Iran. That's like bragging that Iran also
eradicated small pox. I wonder why gay groups are so
afraid to protest suppression of women and homosexuals in Islamic nations. Glenn Beck
wonders as well ---
A poll last year by the Pew Research Centre found
that 42 per cent of Americans feel the US should mind its own business
internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their
own. Importantly, with Democrats being twice as likely as Republicans to hold
this view towards introversion, Morris predicted in April 2006 that "the wind of
isolationism is at the Democrats' back, propelling them onward to the likelihood
of massive victories in 2006 and 2008". Last year's congressional elections that
routed the Republicans proved Morris correct. And the 2008 presidential
elections will likely do the same. While opposition to the war in Iraq is no
doubt a driver of this growing preference for isolationism, it's worth asking
whether growing anti-Americanism is also encouraging Americans to turn inwards.
If the world keeps telling you to go away, that your power is despised and your
culture is wicked, what are you to do? Retreat may be the natural reaction to
the irrational anti-Americanism that has long infected the West. Who can forget
how European intellectuals danced on the graves at ground zero?
philosopher Jean Baudrillard declared his "immense joy" when planes flew into
the twin towers. Italian Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo explained the Islamist
violence as "the legitimate daughter of the culture of violence, hunger and
Janet Albrechtsen, "Without US
there'd be hell to pay," The Australian, September 5, 2007 ---
I fantasize about Islamic fundamentalists taking over Europe and picturing
complaining about the discomforts of
praying with their noses and knees on the ground and longing for bygone days of
freedom of speech and being able to openly express feelings of "immense joy"
when over 3,000 innocent civilians are burned to a crisp.
The plot (for terror bombing in Germany)
was foiled on September 4 when three men were arrested
at a rented holiday apartment near the central German town of Kassel. Police
recovered chemicals and bomb-making equipment which investigators believe would
have led to the biggest loss of life since the 9/11 attacks in America six years
ago. About 10 other members of the gang were said by German prosecutors to have
escaped and one is now in Britain. The arrested three - two of whom were German
nationals who had converted to Islam - were alleged by prosecutors to be members
of an Al-Qaeda splinter group called the Islamic Jihad Union . . .
At the time the British and German authorities denied that
there were any links between the cell and Britain. Security sources also played
down reports that there had been telephone contact between members of the cell
and people in Britain. However, it emerged yesterday that the Germans have told
Britain that at least one of the fugitives has since made his way to this
country. A security dragnet has been put in place by Scotland Yard’s
counter-terrorism command to try to arrest the man. Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s
interior minister, revealed last week that the three arrested men had acquired
detonators that originated from Syria and had received direct orders to act from
operatives in Pakistan. “We know that there is a clear network, highly
conspiratorial,” he said after two days of meetings in Washington with US
security officials. “The demand came from Pakistan [saying], ‘You should go on
for action. Do not go on preparing for months and months and months, but now is
the time to take action in the first half of September’ and they did.”
London Times, September 30, 2007 ---
I wonder if Jean Baudrillard and Dario Fo feel "immense sadness" when terror
plots like this are foiled?
When Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress, before the
Iraq war, that postinvasion troop levels should be "something in the order of
several hundred thousand soldiers," his views were called "outlandish" by
administration officials. He was bureaucratically undercut, and he limped to
retirement. When economic adviser Larry Lindsay told this newspaper the war
would likely cost up to four times what the administration asserted, he was
sacked. Early and brutal examples were made of those who did not echo the party
line. Perhaps Mr. Greenspan was watching, or rather observing certain trends.
The deeper story is not that those who've been silenced have often come forward
to speak in harsh terms. The deeper story is that the Bush White House hurt
itself by using muscle to squelch alternative thinking -- creative thinking,
independent judgments -- that would, in retrospect, have benefited them. Big
spending became a scandal. So did not enough troops, and the financial cost of
the war. It was this tendency that led to the administration's gym-rat
reputation, all muscle and no brains.
Peggy Noonan (when reviewing Alan
Greenspan's new book), "Now He Tells Us," The Wall Street Journal,
September 22, 2007; Page W10 ---
Israel's specific target is less important than the
fact that with its objection to the raid, North Korea may have tipped its hand.
Pyongyang's interest in the raid may be evidence of secret nuclear cooperation
between the regime and Syria. There is much still unknown about a potential
North Korea project in Syria, such as whether it was a direct sale of technology
or equipment to the Syrians, a stand-alone facility or some sort of joint
venture. In any case, the threat to Israel of such a project would be acute,
perhaps existential -- which is why it would risk all-out regional war to strike
John R. Bolton, "Syria Joins the
Axis of Evil," The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2007; Page A19 ---
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his
colleagues clearly explained why they cut interest rates this week by one-half
percentage point: "To help forestall some of the adverse effects on the broader
economy that might otherwise arise from the disruptions in financial markets."
But a vocal chorus is complaining that Bernanke & Co., instead, just bailed out
a bunch of greedy speculators, imprudent lenders and short-sighted home buyers
who got too-good-to-be-true mortgages. "This is like adding Jack Daniels to the
AA-meeting punch bowl," emailed Rob Brantley, a Washington consultant. "The
market's reaction provides proof."
David Wessel, "Has Fed Risked
Creating Moral Hazard?" The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2007; Page
Meeting last week in Wyandotte County, officials
from 22 states had hoped to move closer to their goal of collecting sales tax on
all Internet purchases nationwide. At the end of the two-day meeting, they left
empty-handed. Right now, many Internet vendors collect sales tax voluntarily at
the urging of some states, but not all do. The patchwork of sales tax laws
currently presents a burden on interstate commerce that courts have ruled
unconstitutional. To solve the problem, several states — including Kansas — have
joined the “Streamlined Sales Tax Project.” The member states are working to
simplify sales tax laws to make Internet taxes easier to collect. However,
several large states are reluctant to join the sales tax project because they
feel changing their laws would be a burden on their businesses and cause some
local jurisdictions to lose revenue.
Jim Sullinger, "States make little
progress on system to collect Internet sales tax," Kansas City Star,
September 23, 2007 ---
Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? ---
One Muslin scholar on Ahmadinejad disputes some of the facts in the above links.
Read with some caution. However, I find many of the facts to be supported by
Who is Mahmoud
claims in this article are disputed by a scholar who wrote to me
complaining about the link.
Iranian-born author of the above article invites anybody to contact
him with corrections at
It would be great to see if and how the author tries to defend
himself about contentious “facts.”
without saying that Wikipedia modules are always suspect, but it is
easy to make corrections for the world. I think this particular
model requires registration to discourage anonymous edits.
often better about Wikipedia is to read the discussion and
criticisms of any module. For example, some facts in dispute in this
particular module are mentioned in the “Discussion” or “talk”
section about the module ---
some of the disputed facts have already been pointed out in the
“Discussion” section. Of course pointing out differences of opinion
about “facts” does not, in and of itself, resolve these differences.
I did read the “Discussion” section on this module before suggesting
the module as a supplementary link. I assumed others would also
check the “Talk” section before assuming what is in dispute.
Wikipedia is so widely used by so many students and others like me
it’s important to try to correct the record whenever possible. This
can be done quite simply from your Web browser and does not require
any special software. It requires registration for politically
Wikipedia modules are often “corrected” by the FBI, CIA,
corporations, foreign governments, professors of all persuasions,
butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. This makes them fun and
suspect at the same time. It’s like having a paper refereed by the
world instead of a few, often biased or casual, journal referees.
What I like best is that “referee comments” are made public in
Wikipedia’s “Discussion” sections. You don’t often find this in
scholarly research journals where referee comments are supposed to
Reasons for flawed journal peer reviews were recently brought to
biggest danger in Wikipedia in generally for modules that are rarely
sought out. For example, Bill Smith might write a deceitful module
about John Doe. If nobody’s interested in John Doe, it may take
forever and a day for corrections to appear. Generally modules that
are of great interest to many people, however, generate a lot of
“talk” in the “Discussion” sections. For example, the Discussion
section for George W. Bush is at
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at
protesting outside and
presidential candidates lining up to condemn the
event, Iran’s president spoke at Columbia University Monday. Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad’s talk didn’t appear to break any new ground in his views. As
The New York Times, he dodged specifics on
some of his more controversial views while reiterating his support for
Palestinians, denying that there are any gay people in Iran and expressing
indignation at the criticism he receives. Columbia’s president, Lee C.
Bollinger, introduced the Iranian leader with remarks in which he defended the
appearance, but said that it was not about Ahmadinejad’s right to speak but “our
rights to listen and speak.” In
his statement, Bollinger also raised a series of
questions about the lack of civil liberties in Iran and some of its leaders’
more inflammatory statements. Bollinger told the Iranian president that he
exhibited “all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.” The student newspaper
live blogged the event for those seeking
Inside Higher Ed, September 25, 2007 ---
Ahmadinejad smiled as Columbia President Lee
Bollinger took him to task over Iran's human-rights record and foreign policy,
as well as Ahmadinejad's statements denying the Holocaust and calling for the
disappearance of Israel. "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty
and cruel dictator," Bollinger said, to loud applause.
"Iran leader condemned by university host: Ahmadinejad calls remarks at
Columbia 'an insult,' addresses Holocaust," MSNBC, September 24, 2007 ---
Videos of His Presentation ---
I suspect the real
motivation (hidden agenda?) was really Columbia University's somewhat “conceited” effort to
possibly prevent World War III. But doling out insults is no way to show how
powerful the U.S.. has become. See the tidbit below
Although the nation is mostly cheering President Bollinger for his “tough” remarks, I’m reminded
about how much this same nation jeered the insults tossed out by
Hugo Chávez when he called President Bush “the Devil.” Even harsh Bush
Charlie Rangel lashed out at this "insult to America." Lee Bollinger must’ve
had a hidden agenda, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what it was
since in the past he’s always been an advocate of diversity. Perhaps he thought
this was a way to discredit Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s image as a scholar in the
world. If so, I think it was over the top and totally inappropriate for a host
to do such a thing. My guess is that they did not have tea together after the
lecture. He could've been much more diplomatic and cynical by merely quoting
from Ahmadinejad's “Maths proves US won't attack” ---
On Saturday John Coatsworth, acting dean of Columbia
University's School of International and Public Affairs, made the remark that
"if Hitler were in the United States and . . . if he were willing to engage in a
debate and a discussion to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we
would certainly invite him." This was by way of defending the university's
decision to host a speech yesterday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
An old rule of thumb in debate tournaments is that the first one to say
"Hitler" loses. But say what you will about Mr. Coatsworth's comment, it is, at
bottom, a philosophical claim: about the purposes of education; about the uses
of dialogue; about the obligations of academia; about the boundaries (or absence
of boundaries) of modern liberalism and about its conceits. So rather than
dismiss the claim out of hand, let's address it in the same philosophical spirit
in which it was offered. A few preliminaries: When Mr. Coatsworth postulated
Hitler's visit, he specified the year 1939, just prior to Germany's invasion of
Poland and the beginning of World War II. This, then, is not yet the Hitler of
Auschwitz, though it is the Hitler of Dachau, the Nuremberg Laws, Guernica and
Kristallnacht. Mr. Coatsworth takes the optimistic view that "an appearance by
Hitler at Columbia could have led him to appreciate what a great power the U.S.
had already become," and thus, presumably, kept America from war.
Bret Stephens, "Columbia's Conceit,"
The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2007; Page A18 ---
From Stanford University
Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program, maintains that the
time for democratic reform in Iran is coming, but prospects in the short run are
dim: "Just as the optimism of those who claim the regime is a simple nudge away
from total collapse is false, the pessimism of those who see an intractably
well-entrenched despotism is also wrong."
"For Iran, the Best and Worst of Times," Stanford
Magazine, September/October 2007 ---
America and Iran have great differences, but also
common interests. Among the latter, no Taliban in Kabul, no restoration of a
Sunni Baathist dictatorship in Baghdad and support for the present governments.
Iran cannot want a Sunni-Shia war in the region, which would make her an enemy
of most Arabs, and she cannot want a major war with America, which could lead to
the destruction and breakup of the nation where only half the people are
Persians. That is plenty to build a cold peace on, if the hysteriacs do not
stampede us into another unnecessary war.
Patrick J. Buchanan, "Infantile
Nation," WorldNetDaily, September 25, 2007 ---
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told world
leaders his country will defy any further U.N. Security Council resolutions
imposed by "arrogant powers" seeking to curb its nuclear program, accusing them
of lying and imposing illegal sanctions against Tehran. He said it is "high time
for these powers to return from the path of arrogance and obedience to Satan to
the path of faith in God." Undeterred, France and Germany increased pressure on
the Islamic republic at the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting
on Tuesday, saying they would not accept a nuclear-armed Iran. "Let's not fool
ourselves. If Iran were to acquire the nuclear bomb, the consequences would be
disastrous," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the session.
"Iran Leader Says Nuclear Issue Is Closed," NPR, September
26, 2007 ---
So much for negotiation with a devote leader who view's his main task is to
prepare the world so to hasten the Mahdi's coming. If this preparation requires
much destruction and bloodshed, so be it.
Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? ---
We’d like to hear the answers to a lot of those
outstanding questions. Among our favorites: Has Iran built more sophisticated
uranium centrifuges for a clandestine program? And, what were Iran’s scientists
planning to do with designs, acquired from Pakistan, to mold uranium into shapes
that look remarkably like the core of a nuclear weapon? According to the
so-called work plan agreed to by Mr. ElBaradei, Iran will address one set of
questions at a time, and move on to the next set only after his inspectors have
closed the file on the previous set. If, true to form, the Iranians dole out
just enough information to keep the inspectors asking, the process could drag on
and on. That would give Iran more time, cover and confidence to continue
mastering enrichment and producing nuclear fuel. The further along the Iranians
get, the greater our fear that President Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney,
will decide that one more war isn’t going to do their reputation much harm.
Editors of The New York Times, "The ‘Crazies’ and Iran,
September 27, 2007 ---
To say nothing about what Israel might do to prevent Iranian nukes.
I say this because here in America we have reached a
funny pass. People are doing and saying odd things as if they don't know the
meaning of the thing they say they stand for. In particular I mean we used to be
proud of whom we allowed to speak, and now are leaning toward defining ourselves
by whom we don't speak to and will not allow to speak. This is not progress.
Conservatives on campus are shouted down. A crusader against illegal immigration
is rushed off the stage at Columbia University. Great newspapers give ad breaks
to groups with which they feel an ideological affinity, but turn away ads from
those they do no. . . You know where I'm going. Is it necessary to say when one
speaks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that you disapprove of him, disagree with him,
believe him a wicked fellow and are not amused that he means to have missiles
aimed at us and our friends? If it is, I am happy to say it. Who, really, isn't?
But this has been our history: to let all speak and to fear no one. That's a
good history to continue. The Council on Foreign Relations was right to invite
him to speak last year--that is the council's job, to hear, listen and
parse--and Columbia University was well within its rights to let him speak this
year. Though, in what is now apparently Columbia tradition, the stage was once
again stormed, but this time verbally, and by a university president whose
aggression seemed sharpened by fear.
Peggy Noonan, "Hear, Hear:
Americans should not fear talking--and listening--to those whose views we
loathe, The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2007
Did MoveOn.org get favored treatment from The Times
David Petraeus and call him a liar in a paid advertisement)?
And was the ad outside the bounds of acceptable
political discourse? The answer to the first question is that MoveOn.org paid
what is known in the newspaper industry as a standby rate of $64,575 that it
should not have received under Times policies. The group should have paid
$142,083. The Times had maintained for a week that the standby rate was
appropriate, but a company spokeswoman told me late Thursday afternoon that an
advertising sales representative made a mistake.
James Taranto, "The In-Kindest Cut,"
The Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2007 ---
Now that the Times has revealed this mistake for the
first time, and while we believe that the $142,083 figure is above the market
rate paid by most organizations, out of an abundance of caution we have decided
to pay that rate for this ad. We will therefore wire the $77,083 difference to
the Times tomorrow (Monday, September 24, 2007).
"Statement by Eli Pariser, MoveOn.org Political Action Executive Director,
Resolving the New York Times Ad Rate Issue," PrneWire, September
23, 2007 ---
Also see the NY Post September 24, 2007account at
This added payment is not necessarily just a publicity stunt. The New York Times
might've been charged with an illegal contribution to a political action
committee (PAC) if indeed it gave such a large discount to this one PAC.
The ultimate good desired is better reached by free
trade in ideas.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes as
quoted by Ben Shapiro, in "Columbia's Arrogant, Ignorant Decision," Townhall,
September 26, 2007
The Bush administration has been promising to get
more actively involved in Middle East peacemaking in its final years. Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice will try to make her mark in that area with an
international conference this fall. Though she hasn't sent out invitations yet —
and the agenda remains uncertain — Rice told reporters at the United Nations
Sunday night that she thinks there is some momentum building to get the Israelis
and Palestinians talking about the core issues that separate them. She
acknowledged that many are skeptical that this meeting will be as substantial as
she's promising. "I'm not surprised that people wonder if we're going to
succeed," she said. "If this conflict had been easy to solve, it would have been
solved long ago."
Michele Kelemen , "Rice Seeks New
Focus on Middle East Peace," NPR, September 24, 2007 ---
What does the liberal media think of Hillary's proposed health care plan?
Would someone please ask Hillary Clinton to stop coming
up with health care "reform" plans that are less attractive than the
dysfunctional system she proposes to replace? . . . The reality is that the
Clinton plan is about as socialistic as a Ronald Reagan corporate tax cut. The
Clinton plan maintains the current system of for-profit, insurance-industry
defined health care delivery. The only real change is that, in return for
minimal requirements regarding coverage of those with preexisting conditions,
the government would pump hundreds of billions in federal dollars into the
accounts of some of the country's wealthiest corporations. The plan's tax credit
scheme would buy some more coverage for low-income families, which is good, but
it would do so at a cost so immense that, ultimately, Clinton's plan will be as
tough a sell as the failed 1993 "Hillarycare" proposal.
John Nichols, "Clinton's
Prescription for Another Heath Care Reform Failure," The Nation,
September 18, 2007 ---
As Harvard business school professor Regina
Herzlinger notes, such a mandate (Hillary Plan) is
indistinguishable from a payroll tax . . . Ultimately, Sen. Clinton's plan would greatly
expand government control over the health insurance market. She mandates that
employers buy insurance; offers a menu of cookie-cutter health insurance
policies designed by federal bureaucrats; and expands government insurance
schemes like Medicare. Her plan is the wrong prescription for America's health
care woes because it would result in poorer quality health care, lost jobs, less
consumer choice, and higher taxes.
Ronald Bailey, "Hillary Health Care
II Still not the right prescription for America's health care woes," Reason
Magazine, September 18, 2007 ---
Watch Senator Clinton gut her plan once she wins the Democratic Party nomination
and faces the general election in 2008. In the meantime, it's a bit to bad for
her than most liberals already despise her plan.
If you think health care is expensive now, wait
until you see what it costs when it's free!
P.J. O'Rourke ---
What do liberals want in a health care plan?
The National Health Insurance Act, H.R. 676. Introduced
by Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.), the bill would create a publicly
financed, privately delivered system for providing comprehensive health care for
all U.S. residents by expanding and improving the existing Medicare program. The
goal of the legislation is to ensure that all U.S. residents have access to
quality, affordable health care regardless of employment, income, or health
status. The program covers all medically-necessary care, including primary care
and prevention, prescription drugs, emergency care, mental health services,
dentistry, eye care, and substance abuse treatment. Patients would also have the
freedom to choose their physicians, providers, hospitals, and clinics.
National Organization for Women ---
Organizations like NOW are calling this the "cost-effective" health care
program. But they aren't mentioning why inevitable health rationing is more
cost-effective. Rationing is inevitable because there may be 100 to a thousand times
demand relative to demand for good doctors and price-controlled medications not
allowed to adjust pricing to demand. Even Michael Moore is belatedly admitting
that Cuba has a two-tier national health plan where the elites come out much
better in the rationing system. And liberals are mentioning the impact on the economy of the trillion
dollar cost that will explode with medical cost inflation. Publicly-funded
health care will cover a lot more people, especially the massive neuvo
unemployed created by resulting business closures and labor outsourcing, technology substitutions, and exploding
prices to pay the taxes. Nor do they discuss the surge of undocumented
immigrants who will be flooding into the country for free medication,
obstetrics, organ transplants, heart bypass
operations, and neuro surgeries. Already Medicare and Medicaid are on the ropes
as the baby boom generation taps into the rather generous system for elderly and
poverty-level citizens. It will be a tough sell the remainder of all younger and
more affluent people to an already troubled Medicare system.
It's one thing to sell a socially equitable system. It's quite
another to maintain the tax revenues and
make it work. It's really quite easy to drive the tax base out of business and
to create soaring inflation with immense deficit spending. We're doing
that now with existing entitlements ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm The health care system
needs to be fixed for the uninsured, but it does not need to be fixed with false hopes
of free health care and unrealistic taxation. And the typical
guns-for-healthcare argument will be a tough sell in these tense times of
terrorism and world tension that will not disappear when we "redeploy" from
Iraq. And price controls imposed on physicians, hospitals, and medications
enormously discourages increasing the numbers of skilled physicians, highest technology hospitals, and newly discovered
wonder drugs. One way to empty our difficult and tedious medical schools will be
to fix the prices of health care and offer the services of doctors free for
EU antitrust law achieves this objective to the tune
of billions of dollars each year. By breaking up international cartels, it saves
European consumers at least $6 billion every year. It has pushed down the price
of international telephone calls in Europe by more than 40%. It led to the
European Commission's fining France Telecom for pricing broadband in such a way
that competitors that were every bit as efficient as France Telecom would be
squeezed off the market. The result is that competitors are investing in the
provision of broadband services and more consumers are using broadband in France
than ever before. Eighteen percent of EU homes now have broadband, a figure that
continues to rise rapidly. The Commission has recently acted against Spain's
Telefónica for similar abuses.
Neelie Kroes, "Why Microsoft Was
Wrong," The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2007 ---
Justice is how established injustices are
Anatole France ---
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (IsraelNN.com) A U.S. State
Department-funded University of California program which provides business
training for residents of the Middle East specifically excluded Israeli Jews -
until Jewish journalists protested. The University of California has now altered
the program's eligibility requirement that initially barred Israeli Jews. The
turnaround in policy also may have saved the State Department, whose Middle East
Partnership Initiative (MEPI) finances the program, from having to provide an
embarrassing explanation. MEPI also selects the participants. Jerusalem-based
marketing specialist and businesswoman Miriam Schwab uncovered the bias last
week when she checked into applying to the university's San Diego branch...
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Arutz Sheva,
September 27, 2007 ---
More than 60,000 large ships crawl through the
world's oceans, many with a deck size of several football fields, carrying many
thousands of tons of cargo.
"Ship Breaking," Greenpeace, September 2007 ---
Campaign 2008: Issue Coverage Tracker ---
Math Error Bug in Excel 2007
Microsoft has confirmed the existence of a serious bug
in Excel 2007 that can cause an incorrect amount to appear in a cell.
Programmers at Microsoft are aware of the problem and are working on a fix. No
date for a correcting update has been projected yet . . . It should be noted
that, although the spreadsheet displays 100000, the value of the cell is correct
at 65535. So if you use the cell in another formula (for example, if the
mistakenly displayed presentation of 100000 appears in cell A1 and you enter the
formula =A1*2 in another cell, you will see the correct result of 131070. The
problem is manifesting itself in many, but not all, calculations that should
produce a result of 65535.
AccountingWeb, September 2007 ---
Publish and Perish
From Jim Mahar's blog on September 29, 2007 ---
and Perish - Forbes.com
Publish and Perish - Forbes.com:
taking over Alpha, Mark Carhart was an assistant
professor of finance at the University of Southern
California. He had studied under Eugene Fama, a
founding father of the efficient-market theory,
which says investors can't consistently beat the
market. Carhart himself drew attention with a
research paper warning investors against mutual
funds with 'hot hands.' He wrote that his analysis
of 1,892 funds over 32 years showed that high repeat
returns had little to do with skill, and the winning
streaks didn't last long anyway"
"Goldman hired Carhart soon after his article
appeared in the Journal of Finance, and put
him and a fellow Ph.D. from the University of
Chicago, Raymond Iwanowski, in charge of the
fledgling Alpha. Trading on complex mathematical
models, Alpha returned 21% a year in the ten years
through 2005. Goldman put many of its private
banking customers into the fund.
Then, true to Carhart's theory, hot turned cold.
Last year Alpha lost 9%. This year, thanks partly to
bad bets on the yen and the Australian dollar, it's
down 33%. Assets have fallen to $6 billion from $10
billion and are expected to fall by another 25% as
investors bail out in the next few weeks."
Remember the quant guys (Nobel Prize winners at that) who laid down The
Trillion Dollar Bet ---
Education at a Glance 2007 (Comparisons Across Nations) ---
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
Accounting firms populate Working Mother top 100 list
Working Mother magazine has released its annual list of
the top 100 firms for working mothers, and this year, three of the Big Four
firms appear in the top 10. Among the top 10 firms are Ernst & Young, KPMG, and
PricewaterhouseCoopers. Deloitte isn't far behind at xx, and Grant Thornton and
RSM McGladrey also appear on the Top 100 list. Seven areas are measured and
scored in order to arrive at the top 100:
- Workforce profile
- Child care
- Flexibility Time off and leaves
- Family-friendly programs
- Company culture
AccountingWeb, September 2007 ---
The Working Mother online magazine link is at
Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at
or related CPNI 800 phone number at your own peril
You can read more about CPNI at
Snopes calls this a
"sort of" scam that commenced with AT&T/Southwestern Bell billings, although I
think in the case of a brochure that I received claiming to be from Verizon it's
become a full fledged scam since Verizon knows nothing about these brochures
being mailed out with a Verizon logo on the brochure and the letter that
accompanies the brochure (the letter has no return address or phone number). I
think it's a souped -up CPNI scam to get your cell phone number(s) and other
privacy information ---
If you receive a
similar brochure with your cell phone provider's logo, don't give any
information to the "opt out" 800 number until you've first checked with the
Customer Service Department of your cell phone provider. Chances are that your
cell phone provider is not giving out your cell phone number(s) to other
companies and cell phone directory publishers.
I received a
brochure from Verizon Wireless (at least that’s the name used throughout the
brochure) stating that I must dial 800-333-9956 to opt out of automatically
authorizing giving my phone number(s) out to other companies and for inclusion
of my number(s) in a nationwide cell phone directory.
When I dial this
number it asks for my cell phone number secret password to my billing account.
I called Verizon
Wireless, and they said this brochure did not come from them even though they
are using Verizon Wireless logo and letterhead. Verizon says this outfit is
illegally using all cell phone vendor logos and letterheads.
says they are not participating at all in this CPNI "opt out"ploy to make cell phone number(s) public.
Verizon and most other cell phone providers are not giving your cell phone
numbers out to anybody other than law enforcement agencies that go through legal
channels to get a particular number.
frustrating is that the CPNI scam claims you can only protect your privacy by
phoning 800-333-9596 to opt out. But that number wants your secret password.
All in all this
sounds like a scam to get your cell phone number(s) and possibly other privacy
information about you.
And on another matter entirely:
What mobile phone companies don't want you
Forwarded by Dick Wolff
Here is something worth knowing if you have a
Have you ever wondered why phone companies don't
seem interested in trying to prevent the theft of mobile phones? If you have
ever lost, or had one stolen, and if you are on a plan, you still have to
pay the plan approximately up to 24 months, and you have to buy another
handset and enter into another contract. This is more revenue for the phone
company. There is a simple way of making lost or stolen mobiles useless to
thieves and the phone companies know about it, but keep it quiet.
To check your mobile phone's serial number, key in
the following on your phone: star-hash-zero-six-hash ( * # 0 6 # ) and a
fifteen digit code will appear on the screen. This is unique to your
handset. Write it down and keep it safe. Should your mobile phone get
stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They
will then be able to block your handset, so even if the thief changes the
sim card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your
phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it
either. If everybody did this, there would be no point in stealing mobile
phones. May want to send this to as many people with mobiles as possible.
No charge for directory assistance - Phone
companies are charging us $1.00 or more for 411 - information calls when
they don't have to. When you need to use the 411 / information option,
simply dial 1-800-FREE-411 or 1 800 373 3411 without incurring a charge.
You can read more about this at Snopes ---
threads on consumer frauds and fraud reporting are at
Open Share Jeopardy Games for Accounting Education
Although my dog and pony show
workshops these days are more on
FAS 133 derivatives and FAS 159 fair value accounting, I’m still invited
now and then to do a dog and pony show on
education technology. This forces me to painfully go back over a huge
number of modules in my Website, modules that I’ve not looked at myself for
a very long time. One such module below can be found at
The module in question is quoted below:
Have some fun with your
students courtesy of David Fordham
September 11, 2003 message from David R. Fordham
For several years, I have
been doing some fun things with PowerPoint, more than simply using it as
a "bullet-pointed" slide show.
One of the simplest, yet
most unusual, applications I use for PowerPoint is my own parody of the
Jeopardy game. If you download it and try it, I think you'll have to
agree it is ultra-simple, downright embarrassingly so, yet the students
get a kick out of it, since it is so unlike any PowerPoint session
they've ever seen. Class participation a la mode! Not a lot of new
learning takes place on the day I play the game, but the students have a
good time! I use Snickers bars for the winners, and a homework review
sheet for the losers!
Please don't take this game
as an indication of how simplistic I make my PowerPoint presentations! I
have many better examples of more powerful PowerPoint features. But this
game is fun, entertaining, and provides a break from the day-to-day
class. You are free to download it, try it, and even use it in your
class, changing the questions and answers to your heart's desire. Just
be sure to mention me as the original author, and be sure to tell the
students that Jeopardy is a registered trademark of the Sony Pictures
corporation! (And if you get some good ideas and do your own new
presentation game, you don't even have to mention me anymore!)
It dawned on me yesterday that
this might be a fun thing to demo in my next audience of about 100
accounting educators in the State of Mississippi. So I contacted David and
he indicated that he’s still using these Jeopardy games.
I admire David for being such a
highly competent, albeit sometimes very technical, contributor to the AECM
all these years. I also admire David for sharing his work with the world,
including his Jeopardy games.
The message that David sent me
today speaks for itself: If you use some of David’s Jeopardy games, please
add his name and James Madison University to the first slide in each
PowerPoint show. David did not even bother to acknowledge himself in these
files. Now that is really open sharing.
September 27 reply
from David Fordham [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
thanks for the honor.
I have several versions, because I use
this in several different classes: AIS; Advanced Technology for
Accountants; and Information Security. I am sending the AIS since
it is the simplest. The file contains links to sounds, and my
school was able to get copyright permission to use the "Final
Jeopardy Think Music", the "Daily Double" sounds, the timer buzzer,
and the theme song, but our permission is very explicit in that we
can only use it inside our own classrooms on our main campus. (I
have a fundamental aversion to the whole concept of "intellectual
property", and I don't consider myself or anyone else to be under
obligation to follow ridiculous and ludicrous laws -- but I have a
pragmatic streak that says when I'm specifically told by my
institution's legal department not to do something, I probably
shouldn't do it. Hence, I am not included the .wav files....
When you execute the PowerPoint slide
show, you see the main board. Click on a wager to see the answer.
Click anywhere on the answer slide to get the question, then click
on the button to return to the main board. Used wagers are shown in
When the daily double appears, click
on the words "Daily Double" to get to the daily double answer slide
If you are familiar with powerPoint,
you should be able to modify the questions and answers, the topic
categories, etc. without problem. By the way, clicking on the
far-right-hand category heading square on the main board should take
you to final jeopardy.
By the way, my PowerPoint is not
copyrighted so you are free to copy, modify, distribute, etc. to
your heart's content.
PBGH Faculty Fellow
Using the Monopoly Board Game for edutainment ---
Bob Jensen's links to educational games ---
Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment ---
What would your college do with an added $200 million?
First I want to congratulate Claremont McKenna College for receiving such a huge
Second I want to congratulate them on how they intend to spend it in this era
where so many students opt for professional program majors rather than liberal
Claremont McKenna College on Thursday announced a
$200 million gift, from a trustee and alumnus, Robert Day. One purpose of the
funds will be to create new academic programs in which students can combine
liberal arts education with an education in business and finance — either during
their undergraduate program or through a one-year master of finance program
immediately after an undergraduate program is completed. The new options are
meant to be an alternative to a traditional M.B.A.
Inside Higher Ed, September 28, 2007 ---
Colleges seeking to "combine liberal arts education with an education in
business and finance" should carefully study the efforts of North Texas State
University to do this under a grant from the Accounting Education Change
The accounting program changes in progress at the
University of North Texas (UNT) include three distinct elements, a
Professional Learning Core (LCORE), a Professional Business Foundation (BFOUND),
and redesigned accounting courses (RACCT). LCORE includes from 72 to 87
hours of general education and relies heavily on the UNT Classic Learning
Core (CLC) developed by the College of Arts and Sciences faculty. The CLC is
nationally recognized as a model curriculum integrating the various arts and
science disciplines around central learning themes—virtue, civility, reason,
and accountability, and for its horizontal and vertical integration of the
various disciplines into a coherent curriculum.
problem is that our students choose very bland, low nourishment diets in our
modern day smorgasbord curricula. Their concern is with their grade averages
rather than their education. And why not? Grades for students and turf for
faculty have become the keys to the kingdom!
"Our Compassless Colleges,"
by Peter Berkowitz, The Wall Street Journal, September 5,
2007; Page A17 ---
Putting Great Books Back Into the GenEd Curriculum
In his new book, Anthony T. Kronman argues that the American
college curriculum is seriously flawed for not giving students a
true grounding in the classics that explore the human condition.
Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given
Up on the Meaning of Life (Yale
University Press) mixes Kronman’s assessment of the problems in
academe with a set of proposed solutions. Kronman, the Sterling
Professor of Law at Yale University, responded to questions
about the book.
Scott Jaschik, "Elevating the Great Books Anew,"
Inside Higher Ed, September 26, 2007 ---
Harvard University is Making Another Stab at Defining a Core Curriculum
"Direction and Choice," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 5,
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
What is the latest (free) software that will make PowerPoint-like presentations?
Presentation component of Google Applications ---
Learn more about Google Apps ---
When Professors Can’t Get Along
The American Association of University Professors — a
champion of open debate and free exchange — is having some difficulties with the
nature of debate in its own (virtual) house. The association last week told
those signed up for its listserv that it was shutting down. “In recent weeks,
many subscribers have withdrawn from the list, complaining of the nature and
tone of some of the postings. More recently, anonymous messages containing
allegations against other members have been posted, raising possible legal
concerns. In light of these occurrences, it has been determined that AAUP-General
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 25, 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in higher education are at
How do for-profit-colleges and universities differ fundamentally from
traditional colleges and universities?
beginning of their new book on for-profit higher education,
William G. Tierney and Guilbert C. Hentschke talk about the
academic division between “lumpers” and “splitters,” the former
focused on examining different entities or phenomena as
variations on a theme and the latter focused on classifying
entities or phenomena as truly distinct. In
New Players, Different Game: Understanding the Rise of
For-Profit Colleges and Universities,
just published by Johns Hopkins University
Press, Tierney and Hentschke consider the ways for-profit
colleges are part of or distinct from the rest of higher
education. Tierney and Hentschke are professors at the Rossier
School of Education at the University of Southern California,
where Tierney is also director of the Center for Higher
Education Policy Analysis. They responded to questions via
e-mail about their new book . . . For-profits are not,
technically, just a ‘technology.’ But they do function in a
manner that is radically different from the manner in which
traditional postsecondary institutions function. For-profits,
like their traditional brethren, come in many shapes and sizes —
some are gigantic (such as the University of Phoenix) and others
are small barber’s colleges. What differentiates them from
traditional institutions is that they have a different
decision-making model, different ways to develop and deliver the
model, and different ways to measure success. The point is not
that all for-profits utilize distance learning (because they do
not), but that they eschew the established norms of the academy
and pursue success in quite different ways.
Scott Jaschik, "New Players, Different Game," Inside Higher
Education, August 30, 2007 ---
For the first time, a for-profit
education company has received permission to offer degrees in Britain,
The Guardian reported.
Inside Higher Ed, September 26, 2007 ---
The John Edwards Federal College of Education
John Edwards has proposed
creating a national university to train top undergraduates to become teachers.
Edwards made the proposal in a broad plan he unveiled
Friday to improve elementary and secondary education. He proposed that the
teacher university be modeled after West Point, but with an emphasis on
education instead of the military. About 1,000 students would start a bachelor’s
program each year and tuition would be free for those pledging to work upon
graduation in schools or subject areas facing shortages. The new university
might be on the campus of an existing institution or could be free-standing.
Inside Higher Ed, September 24, 2007 ---
Faulty Towers: Most Science Studies Appear to Be Tainted By Sloppy
Analysis and Superficial Peer Reviews
Dr. Ioannidis is an epidemiologist who studies research
methods at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece and Tufts
University in Medford, Mass. In a series of influential analytical reports, he
has documented how, in thousands of peer-reviewed research papers published
every year, there may be so much less than meets the eye. These flawed findings,
for the most part, stem not from fraud or formal misconduct, but from more
mundane misbehavior: miscalculation, poor study design or
self-serving data analysis.
"There is an increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be
the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims," Dr.
Ioannidis said. "A new claim about a research finding is more likely to be false
than true." The hotter the field of research the more likely its published
findings should be viewed skeptically, he determined.
Robert Lee Hotz, The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2007 ---
"European Science Foundation Report Examines Peer Review Issues,"
University of Illinois Issues in Scholarly Communication blog, April 24,
European Science Foundation (ESF), France, has published a
report which reveals some concern on the shortcomings of
peer review and outlines some possible measures to cope with
them. The report, ‘Peer
review: its present and future states’,
draws on ideas from an international conference held in
Prague in October 2006.
questioning whether peer review, the internationally
accepted form of scientific critique, is able to meet the
challenges posed by the rapid changes in the research
landscape. The ESF report showcases a number of options that
could lead to greater openness in innovative research. A
central theme of the report is that the current peer review
system might not adequately assess the most pioneering
research proposals, as they may be viewed as too risky. The
conference called for new approaches, enabling the
assessment of innovative research to be embedded in the peer
review system. Participants agreed that the increasing
importance of competitive research funding has also added on
the pressure on referees and on research funding agencies.
contributors to the conference report agreed that peer
review is an essential part of research and that no other
credible mechanism exists to replace it.
A New Model for Peer Review in Which
Reviewer Comments are Shared With the World
Peer Reviewers Comments are Open for All to See in New Biology Journal
From the University of Illinois Issues in Scholarly Communication
Blog, February 15, 2006 ---
Central has launched Biology Direct, a new online open access
journal with a novel system of peer review. The journal will operate
completely open peer review, with named peer reviewers' reports
published alongside each article. The author's rebuttals to the
reviewers comments are also published. The journal also takes the
innovative step of requiring that the author approach Biology Direct
Editorial Board members directly to obtain their agreement to review
the manuscript or to nominate alternative reviewers. [Largely taken
from a BioMed Central press report.]
Biology Direct launches with publications
in the fields of Systems Biology, Computational Biology, and
Evolutionary Biology, with an Immunology section to follow soon. The
journal considers original research articles, hypotheses, and
reviews and will eventually cover the full spectrum of biology.
Biology Direct is led by Editors-in-Chief
David J Lipman, Director of the National Center Biotechnology
Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM)
at NIH, USA; Eugene V Koonin, Senior Investigator at NCBI; and Laura
Landweber, Associate Professor at Princeton University, Princeton,
Bob Jensen's threads on the flawed peer review process are at
Long Lines at Accident Scenes: Law Schools Proliferate and Law
For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have
never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as
high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a
supply-and-demand imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result:
Graduates who don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find
well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000.
Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as
$20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for
failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market.
Amir Efrati, "Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers: Growth of
Legal Sector Lags Broader Economy; Law Schools Proliferate," The New York
Times, September 24, 2007; Page A1 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
Zotero software for storing, retrieving,
organizing, and annotating digital documents
open source extension for the
Firefox browser, that enables
users to collect, manage, and cite research from all types
of sources from the browser. It is partly a piece of
reference management software,
used to manage
when writing essays and articles. On many major research
websites such as digital libraries,
Google Scholar, or even
Amazon.com, Zotero detects when a
book, article, or other resource is being viewed and with a
mouse click finds and saves the full reference information
to a local file. If the source is an online article or web
page, Zotero can optionally store a local copy of the
source. Users can then add notes, tags, and their own
metadata through the in-browser
interface. Selections of the local reference library data
can later be exported as formatted bibliographies.
program is produced by the
Center for History and New Media
George Mason University and is
currently available in public beta. It is open and
extensible, allowing other users to contribute citation
styles and site translators, and more generally for others
who are building digital tools for researchers to expand the
platform. The name is from
Albanian language "to master".
aimed at replacing the more cumbersome traditional
reference management software,
originally designed to meet the demands of offline
"Mark of Zotero," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, September
26, 2007 ---
a tool for storing, retrieving, organizing, and annotating
digital documents. It has been available for not quite a
year. I started using it about six weeks ago, and am still
learning some of the fine points, but feel sufficient
to recommend it to anyone doing research online. If very
much of your work involves material from JSTOR, for example
– or if you find it necessary to collect bibliographical
references, or to locate Web-based publications that you
expect to cite in your own work — then Zotero is worth
knowing how to use. (You can install it on your computer for
free; more on that in due course.)
Now, my highest qualification for testing a digital
tool is, perhaps, that I have no qualifications for testing a digital tool.
That is not as paradoxical as it sounds. The limits of my technological
competence are very quickly reached. My command of the laptop computer
consists primarily of the ability to (1) turn it on and (2) type stuff. This
condition entails certain disadvantages (the mockery of nieces and nephews,
for example) but it makes for a pretty good guinea pig.
And in that respect, I can report that the folks at
George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media have done an
exemplary job in designing Zotero. A relatively clueless person can learn to
use it without exhaustive effort.
Still, it seems as if institutions that do not
currently do so might want to offer tutorials on Zotero for faculty and
students who may lack whatever gene makes for an intuitive grasp of
software. Academic librarians are probably the best people to offer
instruction. Aside from being digitally savvy, they may be the people at a
university in the best position to appreciate the range of uses to which
Zotero can be put.
For the absolute newbie, however, let me explain
what Zotero is — or rather, what it allows you to do. I’ll also mention a
couple of problems or limitations. Zotero is still under development and
will doubtless become more powerful (that is, more useful) in later
releases. But the version now available has numerous valuable features that
far outweigh any glitches.
Suppose you go online to gather material on some
aspect of a book you are writing. In the course of a few hours, you might
find several promising titles in the library catalog, a few more with
Amazon, a dozen useful papers via JSTOR, and three blog entries by scholars
who are thinking aloud about some matter tangential to your project.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on how scholars search are at
Graft in Military Contracts Spread From Base
Less than 24 hours later Major Cockerham was behind
bars, accused of orchestrating the largest single bribery scheme against the
military since the start of the Iraq war. According to the authorities, the
41-year-old officer, with his wife and a sister, used an elaborate network of
offshore bank accounts and safe deposit boxes to hide nearly $10 million in
bribes from companies seeking military contracts. The accusations against Major
Cockerham are tied to a crisis of corruption inside the behemoth bureaucracy
that sustains America’s troops. Pentagon officials are investigating some $6
billion in military contracts, most covering supplies as varied as bottled
water, tents and latrines for troops in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ginger Thompson and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, September 24, 2007
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at
While it won't sue Apple for Nancy Heinen's alleged backdating of options,
the SEC does want to talk to CEO Steve Jobs, most likely about the timing of
Though Apple (AAPL) was given a clean bill of
health by regulators over its involvement in the backdating of stock options,
the investigation of a former executive continues to dog Chief Executive Steve
Jobs. Securities & Exchange Commission lawyers suing former Apple General
Counsel Nancy Heinen over her alleged role in the matter have issued subpoenas
to Jobs. The SEC has said it won't sue Apple over the backdating of grants,
praising the company for its cooperation with the investigation. Attorneys say
the company and current executives are unlikely to face criminal charges from
the Justice Dept. or civil charges from the SEC.
Arik Hesseldahl, "SEC Subpoenas Jobs On Backdating," Business Week,
September 20, 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on options backdating are at
CyberEconomics Tutorials (especially game theory)
Economics Lesson Plans ---
Bob Jensen's links to social science and philosophy
tutorials are at
Teaching Resources for Structural Geology ---
Kansas State University
Basic Immunology ---
Bob Jensen's links to free online tutorials in engineering,
science, and medicine ---
Institute of Museum and Library Services: Primary Source
Art Education 2.0 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials and sites ---
How colleges can get a percentage cut of
student and alumni credit card spending
Despite growing concern about students’ credit card
debt, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa maintain lucrative deals
with credit card companies that generate millions of dollars for alumni
associations and that help the companies market their products to students,
The Des Moines Register reported.
Inside Higher Ed, September 24, 2007 ---
"Majoring in Credit-Card Debt: Aggressive on-campus marketing by
credit-card companies is coming under fire. What should be done to educate
students about the dangers of plastic?" by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Business
Week, September 4, 2007 ---
This story is the first in
a series examining the increasing use of credit cards by
Woodworth stood paralyzed by fear in his parents' driveway
in Moses Lake, Wash. It was two years ago, during his
sophomore year at Central Washington University, and on this
visit, he was bringing home far more than laundry. He was
carrying more than $3,000 in credit-card debt. "I was pretty
terrified of listening to my voice mail because of all the
messages about the money I owed," says Woodworth. He did get
some help from his parents but still had to drop out of
school to pay down his debts.
next month, as 17 million college students flood the
nation's campuses, they will be greeted by swarms of
credit-card marketers. Frisbees, T-shirts, and even iPods
will be used as enticements to sign up, and marketing on the
Web will reinforce the message. Many kids will go for it.
Some 75% of college students have credit cards now, up from
67% in 1998. Just a generation earlier, a credit card on
campus was a great rarity.
For many of
the students now, the cards they get will simply be an
easier way to pay for groceries or books, with no long-term
negative consequences. But for Seth Woodworth and a growing
number like him, easy access to credit will lead to spending
beyond their means and debts that will compromise their
futures. The freshman 15, a fleshy souvenir of beer and
late-night pizza, is now taking on a new meaning, with some
freshman racking up more than $15,000 in credit-card debt
before they can legally drink. "It's astonishing to me to
see college students coming out of school with staggering
amounts of debt and credit scores so abominable that they
couldn't rent a car," says Representative Louise Slaughter
Congressional Oversight Weighed
The role of
credit-card companies in helping to build these mountains of
debt is coming under great scrutiny. Critics say that as the
companies compete for this important growth market, they
offer credit lines far out of proportion to students'
financial means, reaching $10,000 or more for youngsters
without jobs. The cards often come with little or no
financial education, leaving some unsophisticated students
with no idea what their obligations will be. Then when
students build up balances on their cards, they find
themselves trapped in a maze of jargon and baffling fees,
with annual interest rates shooting up to more than 30%. "No
industry in America is more deserving of oversight by
Congress," says Travis Plunkett, legislative director for
Consumer Federation of America, a consumer advocacy group.
oversight may be coming soon. With Democrats in control of
Congress and the debt problems for college kids only growing
worse, the chances of a crackdown have increased
substantially. The Senate is expected to hold hearings on
the credit-card industry's practices this fall.
Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has pledged to
introduce tough legislation. And Slaughter introduced a bill
in August to limit the amount of credit that could be
extended to students to 20% of their income or $500 if their
parents co-sign for the card.
major credit-card companies take great issue with the
criticisms. Bank of America (BAC),
JPMorgan Chase (JPM),
American Express (AXP),
and others say they are providing a valuable service to
students and they work hard to ensure that their credit
cards are used responsibly. Citibank and JPMorgan both offer
extensive financial literacy materials for college students.
Citibank, for instance, says it distributed more than 5
million credit-education pieces to students, parents, and
administrators last year for free. At JPMorgan Chase, bank
representative Paul Hartwick says: "Our overall approach
toward college students is to help them build good financial
habits and a credit history that prepares them for a
lifetime of successful credit use."
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on the dirty secrets of credit card
companies are at
Criminals Saved by Data Overload
Fraud police buckling under mountains of data from financial institutions
Fraud investigators are struggling to cope with vast
quantities of data sent to them by financial institutions, meaning some crimes
may go uninvestigated or even unnoticed, experts said on Wednesday. The issue is
prompting banks and other financial institutions to ask law enforcement and
regulators to share with them more of the data they have about suspicious
transactions, in order to better combat fraud.Banks and transfer agencies are
required by regulators in the U.S. and the U.K. to file reports when they detect
a potentially illegal transaction, said Olga Maitland, head of the International
Association of Money Transfer Networks, at the Fraud World 2007 conference in
London. Up to 300,000 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) are filed per month in
the U.S., and up to 200,000 a year in the U.K., but most of those reports
"disappear into a black hole" because law enforcement agencies don't have the
resources to investigate each one, she said.
Jeremy Kirk, PC World via The Washington Post, September 26, 2007
Here lies my wife: here let her lie! Now she's at
rest, and so am I.
John Dryden (English Poet, 1631 -
From the Life is Stranger Than Fiction
Man and Wife Develop an Online Relationship With Each Other Without Realizing It
From the Opinion Journal, September 21,
2007 (edited by Carol Muller)
Fancy Meeting You Here--II
They met online, where he called himself "Prince of
Joy," and she called herself "Sweetie." Their real names were Sana and Adnan.
"The pair [each] thought they had found a soul mate with whom to spend the
rest of their lives," reports Metro.co.uk:
*** QUOTE ***
[They] poured their hearts out to each other over
their marriage troubles. . . . Sana, 27, said: "I was suddenly in love. It
was amazing, we seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriages.
How right that turned out to be."
*** END QUOTE ***
Finally they decided to meet in person, and they
discovered that they were married to each other:
*** QUOTE ***
When it dawned on her what had happened, she said:
"I felt so betrayed."
Adnan, 32, said: "I still find it hard to believe
that Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things, is actually the same woman I
married and who has not said a nice word to me for years."
*** END QUOTE ***
Too bad they didn't like piña coladas
In reality, a history of togetherness can get in the way of a future
relationship. Every day is not a new day when two persons have lived together a
long time. For some this history is richly rewarding. For others like the Prince
of Joy and Sweetie it gets in the way.
What's Propelling South Korea's Economic Growth?
Forget electronics. Heavy industry exports to China are doing the job
Business Week, October 8, 2007 ---
In the late '90s, Korea's old industrial sector
seemed like deadweight when compared with the country's booming technology
companies. Its foundries and petrochemical operations epitomized the
debt-fueled expansion that wounded Korea in the 1997 Asian foreign exchange
crisis. No other country poured as much money into production facilities,
and many basic industries became hopelessly oversupplied. Korea in 1998 had
nearly 50 million tons of steel production capacity, about double domestic
demand. Two sprawling new Korean ethylene plants added to a global capacity
glut. And all of Korea's major shipyards built new dry docks even as rivals
fretted about oversupply.
These days, though, all that investment is looking
mighty smart. With emerging economies booming, the gluts have changed into
shortages, and Korea has ready capacity to crank out steel, container ships,
and the plastics needed for everything from MP3 players to car bumpers.
Shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI ), and Daewoo
Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering all now have nearly four years of order
backlogs as shippers cater to ballooning trade between China and the rest of
the world. And in the first eight months of this year, exports of steel
leapt by 26%, ships and heavy machinery such as bulldozers by 25%, and
petrochemicals by 22%. "China certainly was a factor in freeing us from debt
and starting a virtuous circle of profits and growth," says Kim Tae Han,
strategy chief at Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co., an affiliate of Samsung
Group now half-owned by French oil giant Total (TOT ). Its profit in the
first half of 2007 climbed 16%, to $250 million, on sales of $1.8 billion,
up 3.3% from a year earlier. Since 1999, the company's exports—mostly to
China—have jumped by 240%, to $2.3 billion last year.
Continued in article
Free alternatives to MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
Like the Web-browser world before Firefox, the
market for so-called productivity software--word processors, spreadsheets, and
presentation tools--has been torpid for years, dominated almost completely by
Microsoft. But no longer. IBM's release of a test version of the Lotus Symphony
productivity suite earlier this month adds another option to the list of free
Microsoft Office alternatives, which already include Google's Docs, Apple's
iWork, and the open-source OpenOffice programs, on which Symphony itself is
"IBM's Symphony for the Office Worker," MIT's Technology Review,
September 28, 2007 ---
Other free alternatives to MS Office ---
September 28, 2007 reply from J. S. Gangolly
1. In my opinion, the world is moving to the PDF
format for exchange of documents (what use are documents except to be
shared?). If that is the case, the important thing is convertibility to pdf
format, not which document preparation system one uses.
XML format is also in vogue for sharing documents,
but, because of the monkey wrench that Microsoft has thrown into the works,
I am not sure it will prevail (for example, word documents stored in
windows, usually in .dot format, can not be read by Microsoft's word for mac).
I do not know how much of a dent Open Office will make in this xmlification
2. Most of the scientific community has pretty much
standardised on Donald Knuth's free TeX/LaTeX typesetting system, which is
far superior to what Microsoft is capable of producing. In fact, many at
Microsoft Research (Bill Labs) use it, I am sure, much to Bill's chagrin.
Typesetting systems are by far more professional in
the look of the documents, facilitate bibliographies without having to buy
more stuff, have far superior support for ligatures and kerning, and
considerably reduce the cost of production if your writing is printed
professionally. Lookj at the differences in cost between the accounting and
academic computing texts.
I use both windows (MikTeX/WinEDT) as well as the
mac version (MacTeX/TeXShop), all free orshareware. It is tragic that its
use in accounting academia is rare.
Forwarded by David Albrecht
Alternatives to Microsoft Office ---
From the Scout Report on September 28, 2007
Undelete Plus 2.92
Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes they can
even be corrected. Undelete Plus 2.92. is a way to help out in these
situations, as it allows users to retrieve accidentally deleted files. Files
can be removed from the recycle bin, a network drive, and from a DOS window.
Visitors can also look at the application's homepage to see screenshots and
take a look at their FAQ section. This version is compatible will computers
running Windows 95 and newer.
Can a simple computer application read one's mind?
Well, probably not, but Inquisitor 3.0 can help users out when they are
pondering which website to visit. When a user starts typing search terms,
Inquisitor will quickly display a list of relevant links and search
variants. The application is set to work with the Google or Yahoo search
engines, but visitors can also add additional search engines. This version
is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.
Updates from WebMD ---
Discovery supports theory of Alzheimer's disease as form of diabetes
Insulin, it turns out, may be as important for the mind
as it is for the body. Research in the last few years has raised the possibility
that Alzheimer’s memory loss could be due to a novel third form of diabetes.Now
scientists at Northwestern University have discovered why brain insulin
signaling -- crucial for memory formation -- would stop working in Alzheimer’s
disease. They have shown that a toxic protein found in the brains of individuals
with Alzheimer’s removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those
neurons insulin resistant. (The protein, known to attack memory-forming
synapses, is called an ADDL for “amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligand.”)
PhysOrg, September 26, 2007 ---
Researchers say lack of sleep doubles risk of death... but so can too much
Researchers from the University of Warwick, and
University College London, have found that lack of sleep can more than double
the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. However they have also found that
point comes when too much sleep can also more than double the risk of death . .
. The researchers took into account other possible factors such age, sex,
marital status, employment grade, smoking status, physical activity, alcohol
consumption, self-rated health, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol,
other physical illness etc. Once they had adjusted for those factors they were
able to isolate the effect that changes in sleep patterns over 5 years had on
mortality rates 11-17 years later.
PhysOrg, September 24, 2007 ---
Boys have biological reason to be troublesome
A team of researchers working with UQ's Queensland
Brain Institute (QBI) has discovered more compelling evidence that
attention-deficit disorder in young boys is substantially attributable to brain
development. UQ neuroscientist, Dr Ross Cunnington said there appeared to be a
biological difference in young boys that made them more susceptible to attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined type (ADHD-CT). “ADHD affects about
three-to-five per cent of primary school aged children,” Dr Cunnington said.
PhysOrg, September 25, 2007 ---
Study shows autism symptoms can improve into adulthood
Hallmarks of autism are characteristic behaviors -
repetitive motions, problems interacting with others, impaired communication
abilities - that occur in widely different combinations and degrees of severity
among those who have the condition. But how those behaviors change as
individuals progress through adolescence and adulthood has, until now, never
been fully scientifically documented. In a new study, published in the September
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, researchers have found that
symptoms can improve with age. "On average, people are getting better," says
Paul T. Shattuck, an assistant professor of social work at Washington University
in St. Louis who worked on the study as a graduate student and post-doctoral
fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center and is the first
author of the paper. "It is a hopeful finding, but the fact remains that those
with severe autism will depend on others for their everyday needs and care for
the rest of their lives."
PhysOrg, September 25, 2007 ---
Old folks who can't remember their vaccinations might benefit from a
So it was with great interest that Twenge recently
learned that the CDC now recommends all adults get a booster shot to protect
themselves against this "childhood" disease. Health officials estimate that the
vaccine could prevent more than 8,000 adult infections and 30 to 40 deaths each
year. "If I had known what pertussis was like, I would have jumped at the chance
to be vaccinated," says Twenge.
Jessica Snyder Sachs, "Adult vaccines: You may need a shot in the arm, MSNBC,
September 21, 2007 ---
Five essential books about Judaism.
"The Chosen," by Ruth R. Wisse, The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2007
1. "Days of
Awe" by S.Y. Agnon (Schocken, 1948).
During the 10 days between the Jewish New
Year, Rosh Hashanah, and the fast of Yom Kippur, Jews submit
themselves to the all-knowing and unerring judgment of God. It is
sometimes a challenge to experience this soul-sifting in the modern
world as most others go about their daily business. For those who
desire help--or for those who simply want to gain a deeper
understanding of the observances--look no further than "Days of
Awe," a nonfiction work by novelist S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970), who won
the Nobel Prize in literature in 1966. His compendium of Jewish
practices, legends and commentaries traces the rhythm of these
September rituals, from the pre-holy day preparations to the
aftermath of the concluding meal. The material includes simple
customs (like eating an apple sweetened with honey), kabbalistic
interpretations of the ram's horn blasts that are sounded in the
synagogue, and prescriptions for a thorough moral accounting. Though
my devotions do not approach the intensity of those of my
ancestors--who, in the words of a Yiddish saying, trembled with the
fish in the seas in the days of judgment--this little book puts me
in awe of generations of Jews as they stood in awe of God.
2. "A Historical Atlas of the Jewish
People" edited by Eli Barnavi (Schocken, 1992).
My teacher, the late Salo Baron, published
18 volumes of a "Social and Religious History of the Jews"--a
project that he did not live to complete. Obviously, no single book
can encompass all of Jewish experience. But when I want to find out
about Jews in Palestine under the Romans, or learn how Jews fared in
Muslim lands, or trace the migration of Jews to America, I turn to
"A Historical Atlas of the Jewish People," an attractive volume of
maps, documents, time lines and basic information. If I don't find
exactly what I'm looking for, I become engrossed in something else,
like an account of Jewish agriculture in South America. The book's
organization is quirky, but its mixing of anthropology, history,
religion and culture reflects how they are woven into the life of
3. "Daniel Deronda" by George Eliot
One of the finest books about Jewish
experience was written by an Englishwoman. George Eliot studied
Judaism for years before writing this novel, her last, and her
hero's gradual discovery of his Jewish origins seems to reproduce
her own evolving appreciation of what Jews were about. Daniel
Deronda's mother despised being Jewish, and when he was born she
arranged for him to be raised as the ward of a wealthy English
gentleman. But Deronda is pleased as his self-discovery unfolds, and
he dreams of helping Jews find their own land "such as the English
have"--in effect becoming a Zionist more than two decades before
Theodor Herzl founded the Zionist movement. The novel has its
painful side. Deronda's Jewish path thwarts his potential romance
with the lovely Gwendolen Harleth, and well-meaning Christians who
want to envelop Deronda in their embrace must learn from him the art
of "separateness with communication."
4. "Tevye the Dairyman" by Sholem
No one did more than the Yiddish writer
Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916) to forge the connection between
Jewishness and comedy, and no character does it better than Tevye
the Dairyman. In Aleichem's Tevye stories, set in Russia and
collected in various forms over the years, the monologues of this
first stand-up Jewish comedian treat many of the crises that Jews
experienced in confronting modernity. A traditional father of many
daughters (whittled down to three in the musical adaptation "Fiddler
on the Roof"), Tevye must face both their challenges to his paternal
authority and the dangers posed by the czarist regime. He does so
with a philosophical humor that many readers attribute to Jewishness
itself. "What does it say in the prayer book? We're God's chosen
people; it's no wonder the whole world envies us." Whenever I teach
this work, filled with specifically Jewish quotations and
expressions, students of other minorities--especially those from
religious families--recognize Tevye's predicaments, and they
appreciate the moral balance he strives to maintain between
metaphysical confidence and the disillusioning evidence presented by
5. "The Bellarosa Connection" by Saul
Bellow (Penguin, 1989).
In this cautionary tale about the dangers
of forgetting, the narrator, a cultured American Jewish widower, is
the founder of the Mnemosyne Institute in Philadelphia.
Appropriately for someone who teaches the techniques of memory, he
lives in a house filled with antiques. A sudden inquiry from
Jerusalem sends him in search of Harry Fonstein, a near-relative he
hasn't seen in 30 years. Harry was once saved from the Nazis in
Italy by the personal intervention of showman Billy Rose (mangled in
Italian as "Bellarosa"), and for the remainder of this brief book
the unnamed narrator recalls for us the story of the rescue and his
encounters with Harry and his wife, Sorella, the woman he married
after immigrating to America. Oversize yet delicate, Sorella
functions as the book's oracle when she says: "The Jews could
survive everything that Europe threw at them. . . . But now comes
the next test--America." Wryly, and at his own expense, the
memory-man describes how, by neglecting Harry and Sorella, he
himself has failed that test.
Ms. Wisse, whose "Jews and Power" has just been published by
Schocken, teaches Yiddish literature and comparative literature at
Forwarded by a former boss.
YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2007 when...
01. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
02. You haven't played Solitaire with real cards in years.
03. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 4.
04. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
05. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they
don't have e-mail addresses.
06. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone
is home to help you carry in the groceries.
07. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the
08. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the
first 20 or 30 (or 50) (actually 75 years ) years of your life, is now a cause
for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't#9 on this list
Tidbits Archives ---
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
other universities is at
Three Finance Blogs
Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog ---
FinancialRounds Blog ---
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) ---
Some Accounting Blogs
Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International
International Association of Accountants News ---
AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries ---
Gerald Trite's eBusiness and
XBRL Blogs ---
Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New
Current and past editions of my newsletter called
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud
Online Books, Poems, References,
and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available
free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
Shared Open Courseware
(OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing
Free Textbooks and Cases ---
Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials ---
Free Science and Medicine Tutorials ---
Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials ---
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Teaching Materials (especially
video) from PBS
Teacher Source: Arts and
Teacher Source: Health & Fitness
Teacher Source: Math ---
Teacher Source: Science ---
Teacher Source: PreK2 ---
Teacher Source: Library Media ---
Free Education and
Research Videos from Harvard University ---
VYOM eBooks Directory ---
From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---
Online Mathematics Textbooks ---
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---
The word moodle is an acronym for "modular
object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful.
The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a
tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle,
educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that
include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the
Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about
recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers
running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.
Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials
Accountancy Discussion ListServs:
For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a
ListServ (usually for free) go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM is an email Listserv list which
provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software
which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the
college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and
peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets,
multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base
programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc
Roles of a ListServ ---
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of
all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an
unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments,
ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed.
Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L
or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for
a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional
accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or
education. Others will be denied access.
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA.
This can be anything from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ
initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as
accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed
assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586